3 essential checks before you accept a job offer

If you began your career change by figuring out what meaningful work looks like for you, chances are you’ve sorted your personal selection criteria.

You’ve pursued new careers that match your ‘must haves’ and potentially offer much more.

You got off Google and talked to people doing the work you’re keen to do. You didn’t let lack of experience stop you from exploring wildly different roles and sectors. You tested careers you imagined you’d love to find out if they were actually for you. You researched and wrote some standout applications.

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Your courage and curiosity have paid off.

You’ve got a job offer. Brilliant!

Before you accept and break out the bubbles, take time to check that it genuinely fits your bill.

Check the fit

If you asked these crucial questions in informal conversations or at interview, you probably have some of your answers about culture and expectations.

Whatever the origin of the offer, this list of questions about fit, finances and the future nails lots of the essential information. Make sure you cover all the things that matter to you including the day-to-day basics like ‘where will I be working?’ A client of mine unwittingly signed up to work in an underground office. She was keen to see where her desk would be before taking her next role!

Try talking to current or past employees. They may be willing to share valuable intel on areas like management styles, training opportunities, and flexible work options.

If the offer comes out of the blue and you’re not sure you’re ready to move, ask yourself about timing, trade-offs and longevity.

Ask for a written offer

Does it confirm your understanding of the role and the workload? Does it cover the (possibly negotiable) salary and benefits? If it doesn’t materialise or match your expectations maybe this job is not for you.

Listen to your gut

If you’re more anxious than excited, pay attention to that. Talk to your career change cheer squad. Explaining why you’re scared or sceptical can untangle facts and feelings. Get trustworthy help to measure a job offer against your career change ‘must haves’. It may give you a fresh perspective.

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If imposter syndrome is the source of your wobble acknowledge it and smile. It may never leave you, but you can learn to love it. If your inner career change demons get shouty put them in their place.

In a tight job market, it can feel scary to step back, and reality check a role against your personal selection criteria. But, grabbing a job that isn’t right means you’ll probably be searching again shortly. If you’ve cycled through a series of similar, soul-sapping jobs maybe it’s time to learn the lessons of your career change history.

Asking heaps of questions helps to confirm or deny the fit before you commit to a significant career move. Whether or not you accept the offer, you’ll have made an informed decision that honours who you are and what you need.


By Jo Green, Career Change Coach

I know that when you find what you love, heart and soul, your life changes. I work every day with people who are reshaping their current careers, starting new enterprises or searching for a new direction. Basically I help people who don’t like their job to figure out what to do instead!

As a Careershifters and Firework Advanced Certified Coach and experienced career changer myself, I can help you figure out what fulfilling work looks like for you.

Drop me a note to organise a free 20 minute consultation to chat about your career change and how coaching could help.